A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
December 2015  /  Issue XXXVII


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BUILD Health Challenge Update: CLARA Project Gets Unanimous Vote! CLARAVote 
 
On December 1, 2015, the City of Pasadena unanimously voted in favor of Chapter 380 Economic Development Agreement with Indoor Harvest for the purpose of establishing an open source, vertical farm and education campus on the City's north side.

This vote means that the City will provide access to properties and tax incentives for a new vertical farm and education campus called Community Located Agricultural Research Area (CLARA). Operationally, CLARA will be a scaled vertical farming operation. Using the most advanced technologies, it will be overseen by Indoor Harvest and supported by a public-private partnership with research and education, rather than commercial production, as its core focus.


CLARA is central to the work of a new, nationally-recognized City partnership in Pasadena, the Harris County BUILD Health Partnership , Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, the Houston Food Bank, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and other organizations are working together to launch a new community-supported local food system in the City's north side.

This work is yet another step in the City of Pasadena's efforts toward increased economic vitality and innovation. To access the full press release, click here.  
Community Trustees Participate at First BUILD Full Partnership Meeting CommunityTrustees
 
The first annual BUILD Full Partnership Meeting was held November 19 at Pasadena City Hall. We had 23 total attendees, representing 10 organizational partners and 3 Community Trustees: Donna Miles (who operates a local child care center), Rev. Edward Gomez (with St. Peter's Episcopal Church, which runs an assistance ministry complete with a food pantry and ESL classes), and Douglas Barhorst (a local horticulturalist). A fourth Trustee signed up that day: Patricia Gonzales, a local resident and advocate.

Convening partners gave an update on the Partnership's history and progress since receiving the award in June 2015. Our evaluator, Dr. Shreela Sharma with UT School of Public Health, gave a high-level summary of the BUILD Evaluation Plan, and the meeting closed with Chad Sykes, founder of Indoor Harvest, giving an overview of his company's history and vision for CLARA. 
 
 

During the meeting we conducted an interactive exercise that applied charrette questions to maps of north Pasadena and architectural renderings of CLARA. Attendees were asked to write, draw, and add notes to the campus renderings regarding aesthetics, safety, sustainability, and partnerships to make CLARA by and for the north Pasadena community.

 

An evaluation of the meeting also asked participants to list the first crops they'd cultivated at the CSA, which included kale, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots and of course strawberries, among others.  

 

To learn more about how to become a Community Trustee, contact Katie Chennisi at cchennisi@hcphes.org.  

Pasadena ISD Employees Named CATCH Award Recipients PasadenaISDStaff

The Pasadena ISD Office of Health and Wellness has cause for celebration as two of their employees have been recognized statewide for excellence in physical and health education. Pam Tevis and Angela Rubio were named Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) award recipients for making a difference in the lives of students and families in the community.


L to R - Pam Tevis, Health, Physical Education, Wellness and Athletics Department Coordinator and member of the HLM Executive Committee, and Angela Rubio, Coordinated School Health Specialist 

The CATCH program is a school-based health initiative designed to promote physical activity, healthy eating and wellness among students and their families. 
Featured Resource: New Transportation and Health Tool LaunchedFeaturedResource 
 
The Transportation and Health Tool (THT) was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide easy access to data that practitioners can use to examine the health impacts of transportation systems. The tool provides data on a set of transportation and public health indicators for each U.S. state and metropolitan area that describe how the transportation environment affects safety, active transportation, air quality, and connectivity to destinations. The tool can be used to quickly see how your state or metropolitan area compares with others in addressing key transportation and health issues. It also provides information and resources to help agencies better understand the links between transportation and health and to identify strategies to improve public health through transportation planning and policy. To access the tool, click here.  
UPCOMING EVENTS Events
  
Webinar: Livable Communities for All Ages
Thursday, January 14, 2016 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
More information

HLM-Pasadena Community Task Force Meeting
Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Pasadena City Hall, 1211 Southmore Ave., Pasadena, TX 77502
For more information, contact Katie Chennisi at cchennisi@hcphes.org

Children's Policy Conference
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
St. David's Episcopal Church Meeting Center, 301 E. 8th St., Austin, TX 78701
More information

Webinar: Health Equity and Well-Being From the Start: Building Support for an Equal Opportunity Childhood
Thursday, February 26, from 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
More information


To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage